Monday, October 9, 2006
Solving time: 5:45
THEME: DAY, DEE, DIE, DOUGH, DUE appear, in that order, in the puzzle's long answers [which I failed to notice initially - thanks kratsman]
Busy day today, so time only for a short entry. This puzzle was remarkable only in that its SW corner ("Phoenix"? "Tempe"?) was noticeably more difficult than the rest. Slowed me down a bit. So let's start there.
50A: Airs, in Latin (aurae)
45D: Homeland, to Horace (patria)
Really, you're gonna bring the intersecting Latin words (familiar but not especially common) on a Monday? "Airs" seems a bit off as a clue, as it suggests songs, or the phrase "putting on airs," neither of which applies here. These weren't actually the clues that slowed me down, though. I wanted 47D: Record label for many rappers (Arista) to be "Def Jam" (but RUN-DMC are on Arista, which I should have known) and I wanted 63A: Verb type: Abbr. (intr.) to be "irr.," because I had the "i" - never mind that it's one letter short - and I heard 46D: Tempting (luring) as an adjective and I had not heard the expression 66A: "What _____!" ("How Cool!") [a gas] in a long time, if ever (I think I've only ever heard "it'll be a gas!" or "it's a gas!"). All in all, "Phoenix" felt very Wednesday, which would be fine if today were Wednesday. Actually, it's fine. The corner only cost me about 30-45 seconds, truth be told. Felt like much longer.
30A:Gidget player in "Gidget" (Sandra Dee)
"Look at me, / I'm Sandra Dee, / Lousy with / Virginity. / Won't go to bed / 'Til I'm legally wed. / I can't / I'm Sandra Dee!" Ooh, Sandra Dee was married to Bobby Darin. That's hot. I had no idea.
32A: "_____ Abner" (L'il)
Mmm, old-timey comics. Bring it on!
64A: _____ Park, Colo. (Estes)
Hey Amy, remember my trip to Estes Park? Good times. [My sister lives in Colorado. On my way to her wedding, I got a bit, er, misrouted. Rockies are beautiful, but not when you're desperately searching for your sister's wedding and you are the Maid / Man of Honor. Or one of them. I have no idea what became of the other one.]
10D: It was once Siam (Thailand)
Yes, that's a good clue. I would have gone with "it was once a putative democracy" or "it was once unoccupied by tanks," but "Siam" is good too.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld